The prestigious Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition is leaving the capital for the first time to be showcased in Cork.
And in another first, this year’s exhibition will feature a new competition for younger artists, aged from three to 18.
The Crawford Art Gallery has confirmed that thanks to a partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland, it will host the exhibition next month of work by the winners, highly commended and shortlisted artists in the renowned portrait competition.
The 26 works demonstrate the exceptional breadth of contemporary portraiture in Ireland and reflect the huge interest in image and identity, a gallery spokesperson said.
The stunning works are in a wide variety of media, from painting and photography to video and mixed media.
Gallery visitors have been promised an exciting and sometimes unexpected experience during the exhibition.
The works of the younger artists will be on display with the main prize exhibition in the Crawford Art Gallery’s historic Gibson Galleries from February 1 until April 13.
“Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to partner for the first time with the National Gallery of Ireland on the hugely anticipated Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition,” Crawford Art Gallery director, Mary McCarthy, said.
“Annually the exhibition and prize-giving generates excitement and presents audiences with fresh perspectives on portraiture.
“We believe it will enable our audiences to make connections with our wider collection and supports our deeper ongoing collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland.” Sean Rainbird, the director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said they’re thrilled to bring the Zurich Portrait Prize to Cork as the National Gallery continues to grow its national footprint.
“Showcasing portraiture to new audiences at Crawford Art Gallery is a wonderful development for the competition,” she said.
The overall winner of this year’s prize is Enda Bowe, an Irish artist who lives and works in London. He says his work is concerned with storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary.
The first winner of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize is a photograph entitled, “The new age”, by Mabel Forsyth and Mary O’Carroll, 12-year-old cousins from Dublin.
The National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize, sponsored by the insurance company, Zurich, is now in its sixth year.
Open to Irish artists aged 19 and over, the winning artist gets a cash prize of €15,000, and a commission worth €5,000 to create a work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery. Two highly commended artists also received €1,500 each.